Vegan Chickpea Noodle Soup
A favorite of mine on cold winter days! This chickpea noodle soup is comforting and delicious. Packed with nutrients and easy to prep, this is a sure crowd-pleaser for plant-based and carnivores alike.
-3 tbsp of olive oil
-2 shallots or garlic (or 2 tbsp of minced garlic)
-4 stalks of chopped celery
-3/4 cup of chopped carrots
-1/2 tsp of salt
-10 cups of vegetable broth (I used water)
-Vegan chicken salt
-1 can of garbanzo beans
-1 box of rotini pasta
You read that right. Pumpkin. Chocolate Chip. Cream Cheese. Muffins. AND VEGAN. These muffins are so damn good. I came up with the recipe after craving some muffins I made around this time last year but wanted to find a way to add in some vegan cream cheese.
Some tips for the ingredients: The cream cheese I used can be found at Trader Joe's (grocery store gods). The vegan chocolate chips were found at my local grocery store in Tulsa but I imagine you can find a version at Sprouts and Wholefoods too.
Let's get to the dirty of it.
Makes 20 muffins.
1 3/4 cup of flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp clove
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 15oz can of pumpkin
1/2 cup of oat milk (or another non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup of oil (I used vegetable)
1/2 tub of vegan cream cheese (descriptive lol)
1 bag of vegan chocolate chips.
*Note: Unless fresh, these muffins taste best reheated. Zap them in the microwave for 30 seconds for gooey cream cheese and chocolate chips.
I'm trying really hard not to be the meme about the bloggers who have life stories before their recipes. You're welcome.
One-pot Vegan Chili
Cheap. Easy. Vegan. What more can you want?
When I checked the weather this week and saw cooler temperatures (well cool for September in Oklahoma), I immediately knew I needed to make a batch of vegan chili for this Rainy Tuesday.
Truly, this meal is incredibly simple to make and protein-packed (peep my blog post about vegans and our protein). Although I tend to just throw in different things to my vegan chili, this is one of my simple and easy recipes!
Prep time: 5 min Cook time: 40 min Total time: 45 min
1 cup of dried lentils
4 cups of water
I 15oz can of black beans
1 15oz can of kidney beans
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 tbsp of chili powder
Add the water and the lentil to a pot and bring to a boil. After it has boiled bring the heat down and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Next, drain both cans of beans and toss them in. Add in the diced tomatoes and chili powder. Stir together. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve in a bowl with some corn chips and vegan cheese or sour cream. BAMB. That short and easy! No chopping, barely any prep. Perfect when you want a hearty meal but are too tired to make anything that requires much effort.
Another bonus: this tiny powerhouse dish contains 27g of protein per serving! Vegans can eat!
Vegans and Our protein
This is probably the most common question I get when talking about my veganism with people. They will often ask "Where do you get your protein from?" or "How do you get enough protein in the day without eating meat?" And truly, it isn't that hard. As a disclaimer, this is my personal experience and not the opinion of licensed doctors. If you are having protein deficiency or are just interested in learning more about veganism, here are some tips. Absolutely consult your doctor if you are having serious issues because it might not be protein but vitamin deficiency!
There is a protein in every plant. Some have more than others, but it's always present. When I first went vegan, I focused on my calorie intake (yes, I counted calories but not for THAT reason). I used an app to log how much protein, fat, and carbohydrates I was getting. At first, I focused a lot on protein but we can't ignore carbohydrates and fats. That's where we get our energy from. Many people think eating lots of fatty foods is bad, and over-indulgence can be. But healthy fats are really good and boost your energy. Fat is basically stored energy. That's why diet culture has you cut down on fat because it will stop storing in your body. Or diet culture tells you to work out a lot because when you use up the energy from the carbohydrates in your body it will start taking energy from fat (aka using up the fat). I don't hate eating fats and carbohydrates because I know my body needs them and I like having energy!
Back to protein, a lot of people do not make the jump to go plant-based because they are worried about getting enough protein. I am not here to guilt anyone into becoming vegan but rather break it down for you!
An important thing to note with veganism - it does require you to eat higher quantities and this is something people do not always think of when they are transitioning. That's where the shakiness may come in; your body is telling you it needs more food. Sometimes that's protein and sometimes its carbohydrates. Fruits and vegetables are known for being low-carb (YAY!) but this also means in order to get your daily amounts of carbs to stay healthy, you simply need to eat more.
When I first went vegan, I looked for protein in the form of smoothies and plant-based meats. And it really was helpful. It helped me to kind of gage how much I needed to eat during the day. Smoothies are a lifesaver because you can get in a lot of healthy carbs and protein quickly. Your body views it as less food because it's liquid so you can have more quantity. Another important factor is how much protein your body needs because everyone's body is different! Your daily protein grams will be affected by how active you are and if you are trying to build muscle. For example, I try to get around 64g of protein a day. This works with how much I weigh and how active I am. There are different formulas you can plug in to find your daily protein goal or you can consult your doctor.
Here are some high protein foods you can incorporate for a vegan diet:
So to meet my daily protein needs, I'll break it down for you a bit meal-by-meal.
Breakfast: smoothie (pea protein, soy milk, blackberries, raspberries). Protein total: 29.75. With that, I am almost halfway to my daily protein goal!
Lunch: quinoa bowl (quinoa, mushrooms (2.2g/cup), butternut squash (1.4g/cup)). Protein total: 9.3 (for the servings I would eat).
Dinner: lentil loaf, potatoes with nutritional yeast, and asparagus. Using the items in this list for a meal you can easily up your protein intake! Total meal protein: 19.5. This is without me adding in the other proteins in lentil loaf (solely just the lentils so anticipate this being higher with an actual lentil loaf recipe).
Snacks: edamame (17g), a BIG spoonful of peanut butter (8g). These are small amounts of snacks but still with a protein total of 25g.
Eating these meals would give me a daily total of 83.55g. This is WELL over my daily protein goal and must of it was from foods you probably already eat too. Being vegan certainly has its challenges but it is easier than many people think!
And I do not eat these foods every single day but I do find ways to get my protein from them some days and eat other foods not on this list too!
Keep in mind, this is without fully diving into nuts and seeds (and their amazing amount of protein and fat). I hope this is helpful for anyone trying to go plant-based or even just eating more meatless meals!
Let me start by saying this recipe does not contain any sugar or salt. I know, now you're hooked and all curious. To be clear, I have nothing against sugar and salt. They have never once offended me. However, I ventured to make this recipe with my parents in mind, and sugar and salt are a no-go for them. My mom has recently started a strict vegan diet (yay for more vegans in the family) but sugar and sodium are a no go on this diet. My dad cannot have sugar or salt either because he has a super rare disease called Trigeminal Neuralgia. We've known for a while sugar is a trigger for his nerve shocks, but we are recently discovering salt could be problematic and lead to some inflammation (which could cause nerve flare-ups with his disease). So before you @ me for not including salt and sugar, I HAD A GREAT REASON.
Even though it was still above 90 degrees in Oklahoma this week, I have been craving Fall and all the Fall foods. Hence the pumpkin pancakes. This recipe is pretty easy to whip up, and if you skimmed the top and are just now tuning in, it's very healthy too. I had pancakes for dinner with this recipe and was immediately in a better mood.
Drum roll, please!!!! And here we go.
1 1/4 cup of flour
2 tbsp of baking powder
1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice (or a mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove)
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cup of unsweet non-dairy milk (I use almond)
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp maple syrup (and more for drizzling on top)
1 tsp olive oil (for the skillet)
1/4 cup of walnuts
I hope you enjoy this sweet treat as much as I did. Remember to check out my other recipes or tips on my instagram and blog!
Something borrowed, something blue
I love working smarter not harder. And I am not the type of person who has perfected recipe-making. Maybe someday, but until then I will continue to use recipes from the genius brains of others.
This recipe comes from the genius @amylecreations and I fell head over heals. My sister was the one who first found this recipe and tried it out for me when we were living together. Although she is not vegan, she eats vegan with me a lot! After eating this recipe, you will quite literally die and go to heaven. Amy has PERFECTED this creamy pasta. It's healthy and delicious. What more could you want?
Pro tip: there are lots of steps in the recipe but many you can do simultaneously. For example, while the sauce is first heating and combining, chop up the sun-dried tomatoes for the blender. Likewise, you can cook the pasta while you are blending the sauce. It seems more complicated than it actually is. Just be smart about it and ENJOY.
Thank you, Amy, for this fantastic recipe. I am so happy to *borrow* it and share with others.
Peep below for some pictures from when my sister and I made it last week!
Plant-Based Butternut Squash Quinoa bowls with sautéed garlic mushrooms and spinach
This weekend I took a camping trip with my friend, Katie, to the Ozark National Forrest in Arkansas. After an 8.5 mile hike and a humid night tent-camping, we were ready for a well-cooked meal. We drove up to Bentonville to visit the Crystal Bridges art museum (amazing), but before we got there we stopped downtown for a patio meal. After surveying the vegan options (it’s hard to find vegan options during Sunday brunch) we settled on a restaurant called Table Mesa and I had a, you guessed it, quinoa bowl with butternut squash, mushrooms, and spinach.
This meal quite literally brought me back to life and tasted as good as it sounds. The portion was on the smaller side so of course, I was craving more when I finished! A couple of hours later and I am adding it to my meal plan for this week.
Now, this meal was INCREDIBLY easy to make and very cheap. So if you are looking to ball on a budget, then this is a great option. That’s another myth about vegans, everyone assumes it is expensive. Which, a lot of the processed vegan foods like cheeses and pre-made meals are more on the expensive side and can break the bank, but eating like a healthy vegan, what many people refer to as whole food plant-based, and making things from scratch is way cheaper than what my carnivorous friends pay.
-dash olive oil
-2 tbsp of minced garlic
-one package of sliced mushrooms
-two handfuls of spinach
-¾ cup of quinoa (any kind will do but I used a tri-color blend)
-1 bag of frozen cubed butternut squash
-salt and pepper to taste
This meal is great for whole-food plant-based and vegan eaters, but can be enjoyed by anyone else too! Also, it has lots of anti-inflammatory foods to heal your insides and make you feel great all day long.
In my conversations with people who want a more plant-based lifestyle, there is one thing they are never willing to give up: cheese. And I get it. That melty goodness is straight addicting. There are plenty of bad vegan cheeses out there (not naming any names) that just don’t do the trick for me. But HERE is how I make a yummy plant-based grilled cheese to snack on when you’re driving to your 4:25 class OR just as a regular meal.
Start by grabbing a saucepan and turning the heat up to medium. Put a little bit of butter on the saucepan and let it heat up. Once it has melted, place one of your slices of bread into the heated-butter goodness and let it toast for 1-2 minutes. Take it off, set it to the side, and replace it with the second piece of bread, doing the exact same thing. On this second piece, you’ll put two slices of the Chao vegan cheese, and let it cook for a bit. I am not a recipe expert so I always eyeball it. Try 3 minutes, check the bread using a spatula, and if it needs more time place it back down. When it is ready, time for you pre-toasted bread! Grab it and place it toasted side up on top of the cheese. Once steady, grab your spatula and FLIP. Follow the same eye-ball-it-and-guess method as before. Once ready, place it on a plate and voila!
And in less than 15 minutes, your meal is served! Tag me on Instagram if you make your own plant-based grilled cheese here. You never know when you'll need a grilled cheese for the next time you see Sterling Shepard.
An elementary school educator by day, grad student by night. And I somehow manage to live life to the fullest in-between.